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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  February 3, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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tonight on "world news," crisis in egypt. our big interview. christiane amanpour makes her way through the dangerous streets of cairo to question president hosni mubarak at the presidential palace. tonight, the exclusive interview. >> he told me that i am fed up after 62 years in public life. i have had enough, i want to go. >> so, why is he waiting? does he feel betrayed by the u.s.? amanpour asks him. and, outside the palace, the streefts boiling over again. the tanks, the trucks. our abc team is seized and threatened with death. their first-hand report. and, here at home, frozen solid. highways turned into skating
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rinks. a dramatic rescue from an icy river. power grind eer grids on the br. tonight, it is colder in texas than alaska. good evening. tonight, only on "world news," abc's christiane amanpour has made her way through the dangerous streets of cairo, into the presidential palace to question the man at the center of this worldwide storm. the embattled egyptian president, hosni mubarak, 82 years old, who survived at least six assassination attempts in his life, now encircled by chaos. and to get there, christiane had to move through the rioting thugs, out again today in the streets, threatening death to journalists. it is, by the way, eight miles from that revolution square to the presidential palace. a trip filled with peril and unpredictability.
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incredible journey on this breaking story, and christiane joins us now. christiane, what was it to walk in that room and what did the president say? >> reporter: well, it was an extraordinary experience. obviously, he's embattled. he hasn't been seen in public, exempt for the speeches and statements that he made in the last few days on state television. when i walked in, i asked him how he was. he said, i feel strong. he said, i am not the kind of person to run. and he said, i will die on egyptian soil. when i asked him about whether he would step down now, he said to me, you know, christianchris i've been in public service for 62 years and now i'm fed up and i want to retire. but if i resign now, he said, there will be chaos and i'm afraid the muslim brotherhood will take over. >> did he say whether the obama administration has asked him to retire now? and how does he feel, does he feel betrayed by the american pressure? >> reporter: when i asked him if
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he felt betrayed, he sort of did a shrug and didn't answer. but he did say that president obama was a very good man, he thought, but he didn't think that president obama understood the culture here and that if he resigned in this kind of situation immediately, then there would be chaos and he had to do it in an orderly way. >> right now, it seems the most threatening people on the treatments are people who claim to be his supporters. who does he think is behind the violence? >> reporter: well, i asked him about that. people who are going and attacking the protesters in the square, using pictures of him, using signs saying "stay mubarak." and he denied that they had made any such order that their supporters should attack the protesters. he blamed agitators. he did suggest that the muslim brotherhood was behind it. and he said to me, i am very unhappy about what i've seen in that violence over the last couple of days.
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and i do not want to see egyptians fighting egyptians. >> something else extraordinary to me, and news, his son, who had widely been reported to be his anointed successor, was there? >> reporter: he was indeed. he was at the meeting and so was his wife in the palace, he told me. the family is still here. he said, we don't flee, we're still here. and he said that he had never intended to stand for another term of election or nor did he intend for his son to be his successor. >> give me a sense of the security in the palace itself, as you're walking the halls, were there tanks and armed guards everywhere? >> reporter: well, as you can imagine, there is heavy security. and certainly there have been pictures on television here showing some of that security in the last few days, absolutely. >> you had an interview on camera with the newly named vice president, omar suleiman.
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did he talk about what they're going to do next, what are they going to do about the crowds in the street? >> reporter: well, exactly that. both the vice president, other members of the government and, indeed, the army itself, has asked the people to leave the square now. they've said, we heard your demands and now leave the square. so, i asked the vice president what would happen. if they don't leave, which they say they won't until president mubarak leaves, what will you do? will you give an order? >> we will not use any violence against them. but we will ask them to go home and we'll ask their parents to make them go home. >> reporter: just mo make it clear, you will not order the military to evacuate them from the square? >> no. we will ask them to go home. but we will not push them to go home. >> reporter: never? >> no way. no way. >> reporter: do you believe the young people in the square have
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legitimate grievances? >> we of course look at their demands and we discuss it here in this palace and we decided that we have to respond. positively. it is a process. started by national dialogue, which has started this morning. and we will continue tomorrow and after tomorrow. >> reporter: vice president suleiman said he also reached out to the muslim brotherhood, in terms of dialogue for the future, and now everybody here is waiting to see how the next few days play out. diane? >> it's a question about the reality and whether the reality is perceived or not, christiane. would you say, at this point, they think they're going to weather this? >> reporter: i feel that from what they told me, they're going to be able to weather this. and further more, the havice
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president told me that this is not tunisia. the president of tunisia was forced to flee. but the president of egypt would not be forced to flee. diane? >> christiane, thank you. and the formidable bravery of our team over in cairo, thank you to them. we'll be back with you at the end of the broadcast. and by the way, you should know that christiane was inside just now because security said it was too dangerous to broadcast outside. and you can see a lot more of her exclusive interview with president mubarak tonight on a special one-hour edition of "nightline "nightline." we want to go to the white house now. let's bring in jake tapper and see what they're saying. jake? >> reporter: good evening, diane. well there was no official white house response to the interview, but one official said he found it very significant that president mubarak said there was never any intention to have his son run to replace him.
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that, of course, was one of the messages that the president had, that special envoy deliver to mubarak. to say he should not run for re-election but his son should not be on the ballot, either. and mubarak said nothing about that when he spoke to egypt on tuesday. so, the fact he said it in his interview with christiane they found significant. >> interesting that he's just saying it now. okay, jake tapper, at the white house. and as we mentioned, the thugs have been out on the streets in cairo tonight, saying they want to stop all these pictures being broadcast here and around the world. and they have been threatening journalists with violence, death. david muir is also in cairo tonight where it is too dangerous to report outside. david? >> reporter: that's right, diane. in fact, hotel security swept through the building before the broadcast tonight, making us come inside from the balconies, as you pointed out. we witnessed another 24 hours of confrontation in this city today, and some of it is difficult to watch.
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it was a battle that lit up cairo before the sun could come up this morning. cars set ablaze, molotov cocktails hurled right into the crowds, bodies dragged down the streets and the mobs beating the protestors. then daybreak brought a sign the military had begun to act. taking this man to nearby tanks, kicking him to the ground. and this image, racing across the internet, of a police van barreling through a cairo neighborhood, suddenly running over people in the street. a lawless portrait in the heart of a city. and today, a clearer picture of something else. the escalating threat against journalists here. in the last 24 hours, at least 100 reporters and photographers have been attacked. largely by people who say they are mubarak supporters who say this international spotlight has helped bring their president and their country down. it started with fists and stones thrown at cars. our team with christiane -- >> are you okay? did they hurt you? >> no. >> reporter: cnn posted this, their crew being punched outside the national museum. and one of our teams today, carjacked, stopped by who they
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thought were citizen police, like we've all seen. but this was different. abc cameraman akram abi-hanna and our team told this. >> we were going to be beheaded, and i really thought this was going to be it. >> reporter: but akram, a veteran war photographer, used his arabic and his compassion, hugging and kissing an elder in that angry mob. and it worked. but those mobs are striking fear everywhere. at dusk, along the nile, the race to barricade neighborhoods. "no one is allowed in, we want to be safe," he yells at us. neighbors so tense now, they don't even want us near the entrance to their neighborhood with a camera. you can see they're putting the barricades up now. and this is a scene playing out in neighborhoods all through cairo. and then this -- word today from that young man we first met on our flight into cairo from texas, coming to egypt to check on his grandmother. now black eyes after coming under attack in tahrir square.
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he told us late today he's okay. he's not going back to the square tonight. we were grateful to hear that. and diane, also okay, akram, as you know the photographer standing behind the camera, producer brian hartman, that crew in that car today. the arabic and their compassion getting them through that mob. >> that's right. akram really was brave and it was spiritual genius to know what to do in that room. thank you, so much, david muir. but to put that unrest you just saw in the streets in some perspective tonight, egypt is a country of 80 million people. 8 million of them do live in cairo. but at the peak, the protests were a quarter of a million propes tpr protesters strong. what about the rest of cairo's citizens? here's lama hasan. >> reporter: every day life, disrupted. this 23-year-old spoke of standing guard over her home
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with her father and brother, all the while clutching pepper spray. how long can you keep this up? how long are you going to stay at home? >> there are two sides of it. there's a side of, how are we going to live if this keeps going on like that? and the other side is, how are we going to gain our freedom? >> reporter: we reached a doctor at the children's cancer hospital here. he described an army of neighborhood volunteers wielding knives, coming to the hospital, offering protection from the mobs. >> we asked them, what you want? and they are telling us we want to help protecting the hospital from any attacks. >> reporter: there is gas for sale, but you have to buy it away from the stations, on the black market. you can get every day foods like rice and lentils, but they are 80% more expensive. perhaps it was a 21-year-old named ahmed who summed up life here the best. >> people compromise and people
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actually seem to stand by each other during such a crisis. >> reporter: so you're helping your neighbors? >> exactly. >> reporter: neighbors holding onto each other. lama hasan, abc news, cairo. and still ahead on "world news," back here at home, the collapsing roofs, the dramatic rescue from the icy water, as america battles dangerous cold, all the way down to texas. brothers and sisters struggle to care for aging parents. our series. and, back to egypt. our christiane amanpour on what she saw inside that presidential palace. host: could switching to geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance? host: does it take two to tango? ♪
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halfway there. we're rarely above 25 miles an hour, and everywhere you look are reminders of what happens if you try to go faster. what awaits us in texas isn't much better. with the super bowl just days away, dallas is encased in ice. texas power companies are warning customers to conserve. one day after rolling blackouts across the state shut off power for 10 to 45 minutes at a time, even at many hospitals. notoriously prideful texas had to go so far as to buy electricity from mexico, just to keep the lights and the heat on. >> they should have been better prepared for this. >> reporter: in chicago, where the blizzard stranded 1,000 cars on lake shore drive, today, there were reunions. >> there she is! >> reporter: in a city parking lot, diana monroe found the car she spent nine hours trapped inside. across new england, the heavy snow caused more roofs to
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collapse. in connecticut, this barn gave way, trapping 14 horses. and the worst may not be over. tonight, it will be colder in el paso, texas, than in anchorage, alaska. and snow is in the forecast for houston, for only the second time in a decade. ryan owens, abc news, ardmother, oklahoma. and still ahead on "world news," our series this week, "families at the brink." siblings navigating tough choices. help in caring for aging parents. naturally, blame the mucus. well, i can't breathe. did you try blowing your nose? of course. [ both ] and nothing came out. instead of blaming me, try new advil congestion relief. what you probably have is swelling due to nasal inflammation, not mucus. and this can help? it treats the real problem of your sinus symptoms, reducing swelling due to nasal inflammation. so i can breathe. [ mucus ] new advil congestion relief. the right sinus medicine for the real problem.
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and now, our series. this is a headline every week for families across america. making decisions how to care for aging parents. so, often adult children get caught in the emotions and the exhaustion, but there is help. and here's deborah roberts. >> reporter: for 50 years, j.r. gardner was a pillar of strength to his six children. >> dad would call every child, every weekend. every saturday, we knew we were getting a call from dad. >> reporter: then, in 2009, at age 82, he suffered a debilitating stroke. that pillar now needed his children's strength. >> our lives turned upside down july 5th. >> reporter: then, another blow, their 82-year-old mom, virginia, diagnosed with breast cancer. it was a tidal wave the brothers and sisters never saw coming. >> we were going 90 miles an hour. amy and ann in california taking care of dad. j.p. and i are checking out
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facilities in atlanta. we're calling my sister in mississippi, trying to touch base with her. and my elder brother, "how are we going to pay for this?" >> reporter: they got their dad settled in an assisted living facility near them in atlanta. yet, amy, beth and j.p. were caught in a crushing cycle. >> we clashed. and it was devastating. >> we felt we needed to be here all the time. and for me, it's extremely hard to see dad like he is. >> reporter: what about the guilt? >> beth and amy spend an enormous amount of time with my dad. i personally can't do it. i cannot spend hours with my dad. >> reporter: some siblings stopped speaking for awhile. but they soon got back on track after making some key discoveries. for instance, it's vital to ask for help. >> you have to be very specific. this is a need that mom has
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today or dad has today, who is going to take care of it? >> reporter: offer support to the care giver, even from far away, like their sister ann in ohio. talk to him every single day, as soon as i get out of school, i call to check in on him. but it's not the saming a being here. >> reporter: and realize that everyone reacts differently to the stress over mom and dad. >> we found what our specialties are. j.p. is investigating some mail order drugs that are going to helpfully save us. i try to handle all of dad's appointments. amy handles the financial section. but it wasn't that way to start with. >> no. >> i think one of the things that i've learned for myself is to pick up the phone and call. and never hang up without saying i love you. no matter how bad the situation is. they're my sisters. i love them. and i'm not going to let this tear us apart. we are going to make it through it. >> and deb, how are they doing
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now? >> reporter: quite well, diane. j.p. says their parents have declined, since we first met them, but he said they're finding a deeper spirituality. the key, he said, forgiveness and empathy for each other, every day. he says it's a gift they give to themselves. >> and talking about the responsibilities. thank you, deborah roberts. and when we return, christiane amanpour, something else she saw in her exclusive journey today. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now, i've got the leading part. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia.
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and finally, let's go back to egypt and christiane amanpour who made her way through those dangerous streets in eye roe to the president's palace. so, christiane, we imagine what it is inside those rooms, inside the presidential palace and i suppose we're all imagining them peeking out the curtains and trying to fathom what is surrounding them at this point. did you have a sense of that? did you have a sense of that tension, fear? >> reporter: i certainly had a sense of tension and a completely different atmosphere. i visited that palace many times, i interviewed president mubarak in much times. usually, the halls are crowded, there are lots of officials in the halls walking, bringing tea,
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bringing coffee. this time, there was a sense that everybody was in their offices, we walked down an empty hall and yet people were in their offices, looking out, questioning, just by their faces, you could see they were questioning and wondering and looking at us. there was and there is a tension. but also, a sense of resignation that whatever happens happens and whatever their fate may be, so be it. >> what a witness to history you were today, christiane. and again, more of her reporting tonight on "nightline." and our thanks to all of us for joining us tonight. we hope to see you again tomorrow, right back here. until then, good night. this is the aircraft logbook. we have to write down everything about every flight.
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